# Reagan granted amnesty to 4 million illegal immigrants

1. Mar 5, 2008

### gravenewworld

In 1986 when he signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

So what would be so bad if we granted amnesty to illegals again? We already did it once.

Why do cons think they can scare people by claiming that a dem in office would grant illegals amnesty? Reagan already did it.

2. Mar 5, 2008

### wildman

Actually all the Republican's screaming about illegal immigration is quite funny.... Why do you think we suddenly got a flood of immigrants starting 7 years ago? Hint, someone was elected 7 years ago and he wasn't a Democrat....

3. Mar 5, 2008

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
No one has ever adequately adressed the logistics of deporting illegal aliens. Do the math...there are about 10 to 12 million illegals in a country with a population of about 300 million. How are we going to get rid of 3% to 4% of the population?

Before we decide what to do, we should realize that deportation is out of the question.

4. Mar 5, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Deportation is not necessary. When the labor laws are enforced the illegals leave.

Yes, it is big business that makes illegal immigration big business. ==> Republicans. Businesses want the cheap and often illegal [under the table and void of regulations] labor. This is the engine for the entire problem.

Historically the Democrats may be the bleeding hearts, but the jobs are coming from big and small businesses. It is the job of the Federal Government to enforce the laws, which they have failed to do until now. So much for Bush's war on terror: Apparently it didn't include policing the Southern border.

Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
5. Mar 6, 2008

### ShawnD

What did Bush do to cause a surge in immigration?

immigrant != terrorist

6. Mar 6, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

I'm not sure why one would think that big business would care about illegal immigrants. The typical migrant worker job (legal or illegal) is low-skill, low-pay, and includes farming, landscaping, domestic, and sometimes construction work. These are all small business jobs.

7. Mar 6, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

gravenworld, you ask a question, but it seems you already have an answer in mind. Besides 'Reagan did it, so we should do it again!', can you give us your analysis of the pros and cons of this?

8. Mar 6, 2008

### wildman

He quit enforcing the laws. I help in a Spanish speaking church and also out in the fields with migrant workers so I get to talk to Mexicans quite a bit. It has been a joke among us that we are the only ones who know where the illegals are. Well, that is not true. The government has always selectively enforced the law.

The INS quit enforcing even the laws they had been enforcing and pretty much let any one take whatever job they wanted. Mexicans quickly flooded into high pay jobs such as construction. That is why there is a shortage of farmworkers even though there is a record number of illegals in the country.

And now the conservative talk shows blame the Democrats. Ha! Ha! What a joke.

Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
9. Mar 6, 2008

### gravenewworld

Pros:

More tax revenue

Helps offset the worker/retiree ratio for SS

Increase the US birth rate

Cheaper

Cons:

Rewarding breaking the law

Don't know if criminals are here

Disease that illegals may carry

10. Mar 6, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
You haven't heard about the recent raids on large industrial operations? There are many low-skill jobs in industry that have been lost to illegals. And migrant workers don't have kids terrorizing the streets of LA with guns.

The false assumption is that these are all migrant workers. Where did you get the idea that this only involves migrant workers?

Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
11. Mar 6, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
How about controlling the border during an alleged war? How about the right of legal citizens to demand that the Fed government do their primary job?

The big dirty secret is that the only way to save SS is with immigrants. But there is no reason to have an immigration policy of reckless abandon,

12. Mar 6, 2008

### gravenewworld

Yeah they should, but guess what, it isn't happening. There are millions of illegals here, they aren't going anywhere unless we spend hundreds of billions of dollars getting rid of them. That would just be a waste of money. Make them legal, make them pay a fine for breaking the law, and tax the crap out of them like the ordinary citizen does.

13. Mar 6, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

Not bad. I'd elaborate on the first con though: rewarding breaking the law encourages others to do it. That opens the floodgates wider. That increases the other secondary effects (not noted).

The "more tax revenue" pro is true, but I doubt that it is a big one. Illegals are here doing jobs that Americans won't, for minimum wage. Legalize them and they fall into the bottom tax bracket. They may even have a negative net tax rate. I'm not certain of that, though, because I haven't seen an analysis. So while you squeeze a little bit of money out of the illegals that are in here now, the ones that come in because they expect the same treatment could negate that.

What should be clear, though, is the net effect of a low-income worker on the tax situation is a negative one. I've never seen the data in these terms, but there is an income threshold above which you pay more for the services the government provides you than they are actually worth and below which you pay less than they are actually worth. I suppose that threshold would be the average income.

14. Mar 6, 2008

### ShawnD

Since the US has progressive taxes, you need to make quite a bit more than the average before you pay in as much as you consume. Remember that stat about something like the top 10% of incomes pay a huge majority of the taxes, like 80-90%. The median income in the US is something like $40,000 but realistically you need to earn more than that to break even. How much?$70k? 80? 90? More?

On the other hand, it can be argued that low income people pay their fair share by allowing companies and the economy to grow. McDonalds, for example, is a company worth billions of dollars, and it would be foolish to say that their success was not somehow related to their ability to pay low wages, and sell things at reasonable prices. If the labor market (worker shortage) had people getting paid \$15/h to work at McDonalds, would McDonalds grow as quickly as it did?

15. Mar 7, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

No, I hadn't. Do you have any links to reports on this?
I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but I'm sure that's true.
Perhaps I'm using the term too broadly. I put "legal or illegal" in parentheses to clarify that. What I mean is that the large majority of foreign workers appear to be in low-skill/pay jobs. But I will acknowlege I've never seen any stats on that.

16. Mar 7, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

You're right. I didn't think that far enough through.
I'm strictly talking about taxes and government spending. I hadn't thoughth about the value of workers to companies (...thinking about it below...). I'm completely aware that a healthy economy requires a wide range of income levels and that foreign workers fill a vital role by taking low wage jobs that Americans don't want. How many it takes before they become a drain on society, I don't know.

That said, I think contribution of an employee to the economy is also related to pay. That's kinda the main point of a market economy. The labor supply is a pyramid that is smaller at the top because the experience and education required gets thinner as you go up. That makes such people very valuable. That is also responsible for why the low-end college graduate isn't doing well these days: there is a glut of people with useless BA degrees out there that end up working as bank tellers for slightly more than what the highschool dropouts at McDonalds are making. The pyramid just isn't linear.

Now more specific: Since McDonalds isn't a service company, no employee directly contributes to the company's income (ie, in my job, I have a specific billing rate for my time - the guy who sweeps the floor does not). Nevertheless, every employee at McDonalds has to perform a useful function, otherwise they wouldn't be hired (the guy who cleans the floor, for example, does it because if he didn't, customers wouldn't come back). So then the only measure of an employee's value to a company like that comes from supply and demand in the labor market. In a broader sense, my value to my company is set the same way, but by a different market - the market for engineering services. But, of course, the number of people who go into engineerg determines how many engineering companies like mine there are, which then determines via supply and demand what billing rate I can charge.

Bottom line: by and large, people contribute to the economy pretty much exactly equal to what they get paid, which follows directly from the basic rules of market economics. Put another way, there is no such thing as a job that is a drain on the economy.

Caveat: I hadn't thought about this issue in quite those terms until just now, so this may change a little as I mull it over some more.